With potatoes being the most popular veggie in the U.S. you would think they might be pretty good for you, I mean they are a vegetable. It really depends on how you eat them. There are so many ways to prepare them and to be honest most of them are terrible for you. Think about it, french fries, potato chips, potato skins, loaded baked potatoes, none of which are a staple in a healthy diet. But even before it is sliced and fried, or smothered with cheese and bacon it may be pretty awful. If you are eating conventional, non-organic, potatoes you may want to pay attention to this. They are a root vegetable, and root vegetables absorb the chemical herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that end up in the soil. They are treated during the growing season, then sprayed before harvest to kill any fibrous vines, then once they are dug up they are treated again to prevent sprouting. Hungry for some mashed potatoes yet? Get this, most potato farmers won’t even eat the spuds they sell you. They have a separate plot for themselves that is chemical free, AKA organic. There are some veggies that you don’t really need to buy organic but for certain potatoes is not one of them.
HOT DOGS AND ANY OTHER PROCESSED MEATS
Lets start this one off by taking a look at the saturated fat in one of the most consumed processed food, the hot dog. They can have 7 grams of saturated fat. That is more than 1/3 of what you should be eating in an entire day. Not counting the cheese, chili or anything else you eat on it or with it. Throw a slice of cheese on it and a side of chips and you could be eating more than half a days worth of the artery clogging saturated fat. Lunch meat, another popular processed meat, is the same way. Bologna could have 4.5 grams, hard salami has 1 gram of saturated fat PER SLICE, and when’s the last time you had just one slice. The fat is bad but may be the lesser of two evils when you compare it to the other reason processed meats are terrible. Sodium nitrite. What is it and why is it bad? Well it is an additive used to preserve color and inhibit botulism in the meat. It is bad because it has been linked with an increased risk of cancer. When you digest sodium nitrite it produces nitrosamines. One study showed that in people who consume moderate amounts of processed meats have a 67% increased risk of pancreatic cancer. The risk of developing leukemia also goes through the roof. One study suggests risk may be increased by as much as 700%! Please if you are going to eat these types of food try to find ones that are nitrite and nitrate free. Also taking in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E before meals may offer some protection but that is no guarantee.
DOUGHNUTS or DONUTS
Fried, high in fat, and high in sugar, what else can I say? Awful. I mean take a Dunkin Donuts chocolate frosted cake donut. It has 20 grams of sugar, 23 grams of fat and 10 grams of that is saturated! Their chocolate coconut cake donut has a ridiculous 25 grams of saturated fat. That is more than you should eat in a single day, just in one donut. Some of their donuts have up to 500 calories, others have more than 50 grams of sugar, more than a can of soda. Next time you think you want a quick fix for breakfast maybe you should go for a toasted bagel with a little butter instead. Keep in mind I am saying a little butter. Bagels can have around 300 calories but without the sugar and saturated fat, a much better way to start your day.
LOW FAT/NON FAT FOODS
Here I go contradicting myself again. Before you get all fussy just hear me out. First off some fats aren’t bad for you. Take peanut butter for example. The low-fat versions of peanut butter take out healthy mono-unsaturated fats that is good for you and replace it with maltodextrin. A completely useless empty carb. That’s no good. Also you have to take in to account the mental aspect of it. Without even thinking about it a person tends to eat more of something when it is labeled reduced fat, low-fat, or non fat. To be honest if you are taking in more calories your body will turn them into fat anyway so you aren’t saving yourself at all. Instead read the ingredients and make choices based on that. Choose foods with no added sugars or fillers and be conscious of what you are really eating.
This I saved for last. Not because it isn’t important, but because it is so bad for you that I already wrote an entire article just about soda. If you cut nothing else out of your diet, you should start with soda. Here is the link to my article, check it out and see how scary the stuff actually is.